Best cities in Spain for immigrants
If you are thinking of moving to this foreign country, it is undeniable that you will need to produce money regularly.
But before taking this big step you will have to do some relevant things such as:
- Thoroughly investigate the economy of the country,
- Evaluate the opportunities for personal and professional growth that this nation offers you and,
- Anticipate the quality of life that you could achieve in Spain (as an immigrant).
In addition to all this, you will have to analyze the best cities to live in as a foreigner.
Regarding this last point, you should know that Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Granada, and Seville lead the top 5 of the friendliest cities for Hispanic immigrants.
They concentrate on large expatriate communities and have also become the largest epicenters of entrepreneurship on the European continent.
The two attributes converge that could catapult any emerging company to the top of success. These are talent and technology!
Barcelona has also emerged as the cradle of digital nomadism for thousands of foreigners.
But before moving to this country you need to do a thorough investigation, design an action plan, and act with intelligence and caution.
Otherwise, you could dilute all your savings in a short time and this could put you in serious financial trouble (especially if you do not get a job quickly).
Steps to work in Spain in 2023
Below we will share 10 steps to work in Spain if you are Latin American and have decided to emigrate in search of a better quality of life:
1. Create and optimize your professional profile
According to current figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Spain, the employment rate is 62.1%
However, the level of competition you will have to face in this country will also be significant.
Consequently, you need to create and optimize your professional profile so that you can stand out from the rest of the foreign professionals who are also looking for a job.
Building a brilliant resume can make a big difference when it comes to entering the job market.
In case you don’t know, in this country they highly value the university degree of the candidates. But this is not enough to be recruited by a company.
You also need to develop skills and competencies that make you a proactive, diligent, and self-starter professional.
Tips for building a good CV:
Here are some tips you should follow to build a CV that captures the interest of recruiters:
Take courses, academic programs, or certifications:
The more prepared and updated you are in your field of study, the more chances you will have to attract attention.
Lean on platforms like edX, Coursera, and Udemy to expand your horizon of knowledge and learning from wherever you are.
Join clubs or associations:
If you are a university student intending to move and work in Spain, you should take action as soon as possible.
Start by joining student clubs or associations that allow you to build your network of contacts (one that is made up of potential members or employers).
In this context, proactivity can play a decisive role in your applications, or during your job interviews in Spanish territory.
Therefore, you should strive to show interest or willingness to perform tasks, meet new people, solve problems, propose solutions, etc.
Adapt your CV to the Europass model:
Then you should focus on personalizing it with your data, achievements or academic merits, degrees, skills, attributes, and more.
Prepare a cover letter:
Although this document is not frequent in the Latin American labor ecosystem, it does enjoy great importance at a European level.
In this sense, it is advisable to create a motivation letter and attach it to your respective CV. In addition, you must customize it (this implies creating one for each company).
This letter must explain the reason for your application and contain real data (Don’t even think about adding fictitious data or falsifying information).
In general, your CV should be concise, pleasant, and visually pleasing. Avoid misspellings, use a legible font, and make it look serious, modern, and professional.
2. Apply for a work permit
Did you know that you can start the procedures to work in Spain from your own country of origin?
To obtain a work permit on Spanish soil you need to receive a job offer.
If an employer is willing to hire you professionally, you will be able to start the legal procedures related to the processing of the Spanish residence.
However, this is a process that you must start in the country where you currently reside. Currently, those who wish to emigrate and work in Spain have two great alternatives:
Entering Spain with a tourist visa:
In that case, they will only have three months to legally reside in the country. You can use that time to apply for jobs or to attend job interviews.
If you are lucky and receive an offer, you must return to your country of origin and start the application for the work permit from there.
Search for jobs remotely:
This is the most common alternative at the moment, especially among younger Hispanics who are familiar with new technologies and online businesses.
Without a doubt, the Internet offers you endless facilities to contact companies or potential employers from the comfort of your own home.
Searching for a job abroad is just a few clicks away. This allows you to optimize your time and resources considerably.
3. Prepare your documentation
Preparing your documentation in advance will also bring you great benefits. In principle, the documents that you must submit will depend on:
- Your nationality.
- The type of job you want to apply for.
Once you find a company that is interested in hiring you, you must start the legal process to obtain a visa.
If you are Latino, you must apply for a permit to work in Spain. The only ones who can skip this step are citizens who are part of the European Union.
You will also need a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) that will serve you until you obtain your Spanish nationality (if applicable).
If you are outside of Spanish territory, it is best to schedule your appointment before traveling to this country.
Keep in mind that the immigration office in Spain can take up to a month to make an appointment.
The good news is that you only have to fill out an online form and have a copy of your passport at hand when you attend your appointment abroad.
With the NIE you can open a bank account, register for Social Security, buy a car, pay taxes, operate a business, accept job offers, apply for your residence permit, and more.
4. Process the visa
The NIE does not offer you the same rights as a residence. In other words, you can process your NIE without having a legal residence in Spain.
Both concepts are different and you must understand them in depth to avoid migratory mishaps.
You can only spend three months in Spain with a tourist visa. So, if you are planning to stay for more than 90 days, you will need to obtain residence and employment authorization.
According to a CNN report, in 2021 more than 100,000 foreigners obtained a temporary employment authorization in Spain.
Foreigners can only obtain a visa after receiving such authorization, as established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this country.
You must also meet other basic requirements, such as those listed below:
- To be over 18 years old.
- Obtain residence and employment authorization. Generally, it must be requested by the employer who offers you a contract.
- If you wish to undertake work projects in Spain, you must apply for a residence and self-employment visa.
Relaxation of the Immigration Law:
On the other hand, it should be noted that the Spanish Ministry of Social Inclusion and Migration recently promoted the reform of the Immigration Law.
The purpose of this measure is to insert thousands of foreigners into the labor market, especially in economic sectors that are demanding a large workforce.
These would be the transport, hotel, software development, and construction sectors. This new modification will make the requirements for processing residence and work permits more flexible.
Consequently, foreigners could access jobs more quickly and easily in this European country.
5. Haz networking
Investing time and effort in expanding your network of contacts (professional and work) can be very advantageous, especially if you live in Latin America and wish to emigrate to Spain.
Networking can open many doors for you, and connect you with potential colleagues, recruiters, or employers.
Attend events where you can do public relations, interact with other professionals in your sector, detect new job opportunities and make yourself known.
Important studies have shown that more than 70% of job vacancies are filled through networking.
6. Sign up for job boards
Registering on online job platforms and exchanges is also a very effective strategy to start working in Spain.
You can join them for free and explore the job market in this country remotely. Ideally, you should do segmented searches (that is, focused on your niche), so you don’t waste time.
These are some of the platforms where you should have a presence if you want to apply for new jobs in this country:
All of them have been specially designed for foreigners who wish to successfully enter the Spanish labor market.
Additionally, you can visit more generic pages, such as Job today, Info jobs, Indeed, or Infoempleo.
In turn, you should create a LinkedIn profile, since this network is used by thousands of recruiters, both in Spain and in the rest of the world.
7. Work as a freelancer
If you have been looking for a job in Spain for some time and you have not got your first contract, you have the option of working as a freelancer.
That way you can earn money from home on your own, exercising the role of a freelancer. If you have any skills and are willing to work online temporarily, feel free to register at:
These freelance platforms are ideal for offering your professional services remotely, and the most important thing is that they are reliable and secure (therefore, you will not be scammed).
8. Undertake in Spain
Entrepreneurship in Spain is the order of the day. It is not in vain that Spanish startups have managed to capture more than 1,400 million dollars in 2022.
Currently, the ecosystem of emerging companies with a Spanish seal is made up of more than 10,000 companies.
In addition, according to a report by the EFE Agency, the value of this ecosystem has grown exponentially over the last six years.
This means that it has grown from 10,000 million to 46,000 million euros. In addition, it should be noted that of this figure 15,000 million euros correspond to unicorn companies.
Startup law on the way:
In parallel, the Spanish entrepreneurship sector could continue to pick up soon, since the “startups” law is already at hand.
Indeed, the preliminary draft of said legislation was approved in December 2021, and at the moment the Spanish Government is awaiting its parliamentary processing.
It is estimated that it could be approved before the end of 2022, and if so, digital entrepreneurs (including Internet nomads) would benefit directly from the expansion of tax deductions.
The purpose of this law is to “attract foreign talent and investment”, as announced by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño.
If you are linked to the technological field or want to undertake a startup, Spain could become the ideal destination to achieve this goal as a foreigner.
9. Do internships or work experience programs
One of the strategies most used by foreigners who want to work in Spain is to do internships or unpaid work experience programs.
This brings them closer to the world of work and makes it easier for them to learn new skills, abilities, and professional competencies.
Although some companies are willing to pay them a minimum remuneration, in reality, the biggest gain is the experience gained and the networks they can create.
If you are studying and you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, you could register in StudentJob and Primerempleo (there you will find many vacancies for internships or professional practices).
10. Keep a positive attitude
Searching for a new job can be stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting. Especially if you are a foreigner and want to practice far from your homeland.
However, you must maintain a positive attitude during this process so that you don’t give up too soon.
Stay focused, research the job market, and make sure you’re moving in the right direction.
If you are disciplined, constant, and persevering, you will likely get the job of your dreams in this European country.
Advantages of working in Spain
Foreigners have multiple advantages when working in this country. These are some of the most outstanding:
1. The nation is open to immigration. Historically, it has opened the door to millions of Latin Americans of Spanish descent.
2. It has large ex-pat communities, especially in Madrid and Barcelona.
3. Spain is the third ideal destination for foreign students (after the United Kingdom and Ireland). This is because the quality of university education is excellent.
4. The requirements to apply for a work permit are friendly and flexible for immigrants.
5. The reform of the Immigration Law will help thousands of foreigners to enter the labor market without so much bureaucracy.
6. The entrepreneurial ecosystem in this country has experienced a considerable increase in the last six years.
7. The Spanish Government is implementing important measures to attract investment and qualified foreign labor.
Work in Spain and grow professionally:
If you are Latin American and you dream of working in Spain, this could be a good time to start your paperwork and your job search.
Do not forget that the modification of the Immigration Law could facilitate the process; especially if you are linked to the hotel, technology, or construction sector.
According to figures from Statista, the minimum monthly interprofessional salary in Spain at the moment is 1,000 euros.
However, some freelancers generate more money working on their own in this country.
In short, Spain offers you multiple possibilities to improve your quality of life and to grow personally and professionally (regardless of whether you are a foreigner).